Whether you are an employer or employee in New York State, it is important to understand how state and federal law define minimum wage, how that wage is determined, and how it will change over the next few years. The New York State Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor provide key information about both state and federal minimum wage laws and rates.

Understanding the New York Minimum Wage Requirements

The minimum wage rate is the lowest hourly pay rate that an employer can pay an employee. New York provides a higher minimum wage and resulting overtime than that required by the federal law. The state minimum wage differs depending upon where you are employed in the state of New York, as well as the size of your employer. On December 31, 2017, the state minimum wage increased, creating the following minimum wage requirements:

● New York City businesses with 11 or more employees, $13.00 per hour;

● New York City businesses with 10 or fewer employees, $12.00 per hour;

● Businesses in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, $11.00 per hour; and

● remainder of the state of New York, $10.40 per hour.

It is important to note that minimum hourly wage requirements are different for workers in the fast food industry, as well as for those who receive tips at work.

New York Minimum Wage Increases Occur Each Year Up to $15.00 Per Hour

The minimum hourly wage in New York is scheduled to increase every year on December 31 until the rates reach $15.00 per hour. Given that different types of employers, as well as employers in different areas of the state, currently have distinct minimum wage requirements, some will reach the $15.00 threshold sooner than others.

Understanding How the Federal Minimum Wage Requirements and the FLSA Differ from New York Minimum Wage Requirements

In addition to other wage matters such as overtime, the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, establishes minimum wage standards across the country. Since July 25, 2009, the federal minimum wage has been set at $7.25 per hour. This means it is illegal for any non-exempt, covered employee to be paid an hourly wage of under $7.25. The broad coverage of the FLSA includes employees who fall into one of the following categories:

● Employees of federal, state and local governments;

● Individuals who are employed by businesses that have an annual dollar volume of $500,000 or higher;

● Employees who engage in interstate commerce;

● Domestic service employees (e.g., housekeepers, cooks, gardeners, or nurses) who earn at least $1,900 from one employer within a calendar year or work more than eight hours per week for one or more employers;

● Employees of hospitals; institutions that care for the sick, aged, mentally ill, or disabled who reside on the premises; schools, including preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education; and Federal, state, and local government agencies.

Some employees, however, such as administrative or professional employees, seasonal employees and casual babysitters, are exempt from minimum wage requirements.

If you have questions about New York or federal minimum wage requirements, you should discuss them with a New York labor lawyer